Grilling, Soy and Sugar: Questions on Diet and Cancer

Cutting through diet and cancer headlines and hype isn’t easy for anyone, including your health care providers. They also look for help understanding the evidence and putting the latest studies in perspective.Grilled Steaks

Last month I was in Atlanta, talking about obesity and cancer with dietitians who work with all kinds of people, from kids to seniors, and doing prevention, clinical work, food service and more. Here are a few common questions they asked, reflecting the questions they get from patients, clients and friends.

1.         Grilling: How bad is charring for cancer risk and should we still grill?

AICR’s expert report and updates say there isn’t enough evidence to show that grilled meat increases risk for stomach cancer. But we do know that grilling meat – both red and white – creates cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form. Because there are ways to limit these substances forming, we recommend 5 ways you can grill more safely. Continue reading


New Study: Soy Lowers Nonsmokers’ Lung Cancer Risk

We all know by now that the best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke or use any tobacco products. But about ten to fifteen percent of nonsmokers still get lung cancer, a disease that accounts for more deaths than any other cancer type.

For nonsmokers, eating high amounts of tofu, edamame and other soy foods may lower their risk, finds a new study along with an analysis of the research.

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Study researchers first looked at the diet of approximately 71,000 women who were part of a health study in China. Almost all the women – 97 percent – didn’t smoke. The women answered questions about their typical diet at the start of the study and again two to three years later. They also gave information on their exposure to secondhand smoke and medical history.

After an average of nine years, the study found that women who consumed the most soy foods had almost 40 percent lower risk of lung cancer compared with those who ate the least amounts. This was after taking into account age, other dietary factors and smoking. (Of the 370 women diagnosed with lung cancer during those nine years, all but 30 had never previously smoked.) Continue reading